The Madonna of the Burning Bush

Object Details

Title:

The Madonna of the Burning Bush

Artist/Maker(s):

Georges Trubert (French, active Provence, France 1469 - 1508)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1480 - 1490

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 11.4 x 8.6 cm (4 1/2 x 3 3/8 in.)

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In this book of hours, an image of the Madonna and Child prefaces a prayer commonly found in books of hours. Addressed to the Virgin, it begins with Obsecro te domina (I beseech you lady). The image's painted gold frame serves as a support for the beginning of the text. Georges Trubert depicted the jewel-encrusted frame as a three-dimensional object casting a shadow on the page, while the chain from which it hangs runs through two slits seemingly cut into the surface of the page, an outstanding example of trompe-l'oeil.

The bush that burned but was not consumed, which Moses encountered while on Mount Sinai, appears below the image of the Virgin crowned as Queen of Heaven. Medieval theologians likened the bush to Mary's virginity, which remained intact after the conception of Christ. The flames spreading from the flowering bush form a decorative, rhythmic border for the entire page.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Illuminating the Mind's Eye: Memory and Medieval Book Arts (July 23 to October 6, 1996)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 23 to October 6, 1996
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
French Manuscript Illumination in the Middle Ages (January 23 to April 15, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), January 23 to April 15, 2007
Faces of Power and Piety: Portraiture in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (August 12 to October 26, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 12 to October 26, 2008